Aton says Murray & Roberts appears intent on frustrating its own proposal
Aton, a German family-owned investment company that has made a R15 a share offer for all of Murray & Roberts, says the engineering group’s announcement on Friday regarding a potential tie-up with Aveng shows that Murray & Roberts’ management is putting its interests ahead of those of stakeholders.
"Its sole intent appears to be to frustrate Aton’s compelling proposition to Murray & Roberts shareholders," Aton said in a statement sent to Business Day. The Aton offer values Murray & Roberts at R6.7bn. But the JSE-listed conglomerate has rejected this saying "it materially undervalues the company".
Murray & Roberts CEO Henry Laas had earlier told Business Day there was no intention to frustrate Aton’s offer. Instead, the boards of Murray & Roberts and Aveng had instead reached in principle agreement over possibly combining the Murray & Roberts’ oil and gas and underground mining platforms with Aveng’s McConnell Dowell and Moolmans businesses, which operate in similar markets.
The companies said this was a "compelling" proposition that would establish a large multinational engineering and construction group.